You are exposed

Remember the days when we were waiting for the postman? The letters were delivered just once a day in the morning unless there was a telegram, most probably informing of a death.

It was said that everyone in the village ran after the postman delivering the telegram to see where he delivers it and to know who has died. Some villagers even cried before the telegram was opened. There was no junk mail, no spam, no viruses, no delete button or trash.

Just burn them if you really want to hide it from others. Although some girls got very close to the postman who delivered them love letters three or four times a week, we were free of deliveries on weekends and government holidays. Those days are gone for ever.

How many times do we check our emails day and night? No weekend or holiday breaks. News spreads, love travels, jokes said and work is imposed through emails now. Are they safe any more? Apart from hackers, there are legitimate sources getting ready to know more about your emails and the telephone calls.

The British government rushed through Parliament on Thursday a controversial Bill to legalise to ensure police and security chiefs can spy on people's phone and email records.

It is called 'The Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill' and orders phone and internet firms to preserve emails and call logs for a year for the authorities to see who is contacting whom.

Internet has been monitored in the UK by the police and intelligence services for more than a decade. Almost all internet traffic is monitored by the government intelligence service MI5. The monitoring also includes the traffic between Europe and the USA. Although the authorities needed a court order to check your email account or monitor phone calls, it is very doubtful they have always complied with such a rule.

Our land line calls are much safer than mobile phone lines. Internet providers can read your emails, they also store information about your internet browse and where you visited. Search engines like Google has all the records of your browsing history even if you delete it from your computer or phone.

At the same time, hackers around the world have a free hand in your accounts doing whatever they like. There is no guaranteed privacy of conversation anymore. The US even bugged German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone recently. Even friends are not safe. No need of more proof of the world policing by the US. Many world leaders have experienced the same US treatment.

The western governments who are in combat against terrorism are taking measures to safeguard their countries. At a Cabinet meeting last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron warned of "grave consequences" for counter terrorism if nothing was done.

"As events in Iraq and Syria demonstrate, now is not the time to be scaling back on our ability to keep our people safe," he said.

The UK is more concern about the British Muslim youth joining the Jihad in Iraq and Syria. There is a growing enthusiasm in joining the ISIS movement in Syria and Iraq. Even British Muslim girls have left for Iraq to join as "Jihad Brides". They intend to support ISIS fighters as their brides. Britain is very concerned about the situation. They think by listening to a phone conversation or reading an email will help fight terrorism.

Many privacy campaigners are against this and have warned the Bill gives the government "sweeping" new surveillance powers. This Bill will be challenged in the European Courts of Human Rights. Isabella Sankey, policy director of the civil liberty group Liberty told MPs in a briefing note circulated this weekend: "This fast-track legislation contains sweeping surveillance powers that will affect every man, woman and child in the UK."

The government defends its proposal focusing not only on terrorism but also to monitor paedophile rings and criminal gangs. This Bill will make the life of intelligence services and the police much easier and effective. Who knows if those gangs have already started using encryption for their day to day life. Even lovers and business partners would need to learn a new method of communicating. The globalisation and global village is a good concept.

When we live in one village it is impossible to have secrets. Most secrets spread in no time. We know who comes in to the village, who goes out, who drinks, who beats the wife, who is having affairs, who brew illicit liquor, who are the gang leaders and so on. Now the entire world is a village. No more secrets. The government can't recruit aliens from another planet to monitor our phone calls or emails. They have to recruit people from this so called 'global village'. Who knows it could be your next door neighbour who has been given authority to monitor your communication skills. He must be laughing. Oh no! God please... 

Courtesy of Daily News | Originally Published at http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/you-are-exposed


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  • Last modified on Sunday, 14 Sep 2014

 

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